There’s something disturbingly, cloyingly polite about today’s world. I don’t quite understand whether it is due to the unwritten pressures of social media, the corporate rat race or whether we’re just too lazy to disagree. But the bitter truth is that we’re afraid to say NO.
For the simplest things in life, people need to think, re-think and then think some more to simply say, “No. I do not want to do this.” I’ve seen people choosing career paths they intensely disliked, doing favours they didn’t want to…just because they couldn’t say no; or they felt caged. And guess what’s the best way for anyone to wriggle out of unsolicited advances from the opposite gender (or even the same gender)? Just say the bloody word – N.O.
Saying ‘No’ comes with a lot of responsibility and very often, social stigma too. But if you don’t have the gumption to refuse, you lose the right to crib. We’ve all been there…bad relationships, life-consuming requests and sometimes character-tarnishing expectations…but then there is always the proverbial “What will happen if I say no?” lurking in the dark, grimy corners of the devil’s workshop. And eventually we give in. What follows is usually misery, self-doubt and an overwhelming sense of hollowness.
I’ve noticed that people almost never compare the directly proportional value of a ‘No’ to future expectations. Once you’ve said ‘Yes’, the next time it is expected that you’ll do the same. Or you could say the magic word and be free from future requests. Value yourself and your time. Don’t wonder what excuse to provide in order to turn someone down. You do not owe anyone an explanation.
I often say ‘No’ to a lot of things that I do not wish to do/participate in. It has cost me a great deal in shaping my relationships with people. But it turns out that it worked out for the best. The small, select circle of close friends that I have are also from the land of ‘No’. All of us mutually respect the other’s N-bomb without batting an eyelid. And no one judges the other. I prefer that to a huge-ass social circle with whom I’ve to constantly be on my ‘society-approved’ best behaviour.
The hardest part about saying ‘No’ is doing it the first time. Thereafter, it’s a cakewalk. It’ll save you time, heartburn, impossible expectations and above all it’ll keep banal stresses at bay. This Independence Day gift yourself the freedom to refuse. Just look the other person in the eye and say it. And if you’re asked “Why not?” …I recommend turning to my favourite retort – “Because, I said no.”